I gotta tell you when I woke up on New Year's morning I was not a happy camper. Everything hurt! My back hurt, my feet (which hurt all the time now), hurt. My legs and knees ached and I had a pain in my shoulder from sleeping on it badly and an old volleyball injury and my head throbbed like it had been used for batting practice.
My first thought was how eating a pound of decadent fudge and deliciously crunchy Rice Krispie candy can actually make you gain five pounds--very unfair. So I grieved for being off track in my weight loss expedition. Then that made me feel sorry for myself. I remembered that my neighbors were outside at midnight banging pots and pans, shouting at the top of their lungs, shooting off fireworks and celebrating while I'm trying to fall asleep. And I'm thinking--what's the big deal? It's just another year of bad economic times with trouble ahead, dad-to-day drudgery and monotonous work, bills, debts, aches and pains, possible surgery for my excess tummy and arm baggage and possibly my knees. Worries over kids and parents, and general malaise to come. Happy New Year!
(I have to confess, that by noon New Year's day, I felt a whole lot better because I started a new book and flew through the first three chapters. Then USC beat the crap out of Penn State in the Rose Bowl game all making the world shift right back on it's axis again.)
Then I did some pondering. As I think back over my very long life to date, I recall thinking in my childhood, that the year 2000 seemed as far away as as abstract as outer space. Yet from where we are today--the year 2000 was nine years ago!!
Weren't we supposed to be living at the far reaches of space in manned space stations talking to computers that were smarter than we are and held our lives in the palm of their non-existent hands like 2001: A Space Odyssey?
Weren't we supposed to be having mind controlling "Big Brother" watching us all the time, "feel-a-vision" movie theaters and have the citizenry populated only through the use of test tubes like in Orwell's 1984? How about daddy being thrown out of bed and onto a conveyor belt that moves him through a computerized shower, shaver and dresser, then having daddy leave for work in his flying car? Then mommy cleans up the house with an in-home robot who cooks, cleans and watches our kids for us while our children play with robot puppies and spinning weightless floating tops. Where are those ingenious houses that are solely computer driven and communicate and function by themselves? Or mind-computer connections like in the Matrix?
Do we have people living on the moon is domed weightless communities or people at the bottom of the sea living in sealed glass cities? Where are all the jet propelled cars, alternative fuels, a world without money, or strife and conflict?
I read somewhere some really funny jokes about the future as seen through the eyes of people living in the 50's. You can find these on Aaron's jokes. Enjoy and remember.
"I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, its' going to be impossible to buy a weeks groceries for $20."
"Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won't be long when $5000 will only buy a used one."
"Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter?"
"If they raise the minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store."
"When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 50 cents a gallon. Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage."
"Also, their music drives me wild. This 'Rock Around The Clock' thing is nothing but racket."
"I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the of the century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas."
"Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't surprise me if someday they'll be making more than the president."
"Do you suppose television will ever reach our part of the country?""I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now."
"It won't be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work."
"I'm just afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business."
"Thank goodness I won't live to see the day when the Government takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to congress."
"Anymore no one can afford to be sick, $35 a day in the hospital is too rich for my blood."
"If a few idiots want to risk their necks flying across the country that's fine, but nothing will ever replace trains.""Cars which dim their lights by sensors, automatic transmissions, and who knows what else? Pretty soon they will drive themselves."
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that the first, the beginning of the new year causes some of us to remember and speculate about the future and ponder where we are and what we want to accomplish. I hope I'm not being too braggadocios to say I've come a long way baby and hope to continue that journey. I kick myself sometimes for waiting until my life is almost at an end, but better late than never.
Life really is a beautiful thing. The sun still comes up in the morning. Rain waters the earth and new life springs up. At the end of the day, sometimes the sun gives a spectacular showing of its grandeur. Heaven is still waiting to receive us if we're prepared. The possibilities for personal, spiritual and technological growth are still before us. So the future that Mr. Disney saw in his Carousel of Progress and the house of the future just might come to pass and soon.
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